Study shows opioid use among US patients with knee osteoarthritis costs 14 billion dollars in societal costs
Although guidelines do not recommend use of opioids to manage pain for individuals with knee osteoarthritis, a recent study published early online in Arthritis Care & Research, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Professionals, estimates that 858,000 Americans use opioids such as tramadol and oxycodone for their knee pain, equating to $14 billion in lifetime opioid-related societal costs, or nearly $0.5 billion annually.
Surgeons who participate in the American Joint Replacement Register (AJRR) have contributed the details on nearly 1 million primary total knee arthroplasties (TKA) performed in the US, providing a snapshot of trends in this common orthopaedic procedure.
A review of literature providing insights into one of the head-sparing surgical treatments for this multifactorial disease process: core decompression with the addition of bone marrow aspirate concentrate, which has significantly improved long-term outcomes and has become a powerful tool in treating early-stage osteonecrosis of the femoral head.
Primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures in the US. The same cannot be said for partial knee arthroplasty: According 2020 Annual Report from the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (medial and lateral UKA) accounted for just 4.1% of knee replacements in 2019, compared with 8.2% in 2012, and patellofemoral arthroplasty decreased from a high of 1.7% in 2016 to 0.04% in 2019.
With surgeons offering total knee arthroplasty (TKA) to increasingly younger patients with osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions, the idea that both knees could be replaced during the same operation is appealing. Many of these patients still work, and by undergoing surgery only once, they minimize time off from work and, theoretically, minimize the risk of complications from a second anesthesia and hospitalization.